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tv   ABC World News With David Muir  ABC  July 31, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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tonight on "world news," breaking news from washington.
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a possible breakthrough inhe debt crisis. president obama and top republicans agree to massive spending cuts in return for more borrowing. cacathey sell it to lawmakers before the deadline and what does it mean for the economy? an abc news exclusive. david muir is the only american reporter on the scene in mogadishu as a gun battle breaks out. he's on the front lines in a fight to get food for the people who need it. mystery solved. he's america's most elusive fugitive, d.b. cooper. he jump pd from a plane 40 years ago. do agents finally have their man? good evening. david muir is on assignment tonight in africa. we're going to go to him in a
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moment. weweegin here in washington where this has been an extraordinary weekend of high wire, high stakes talks. here's that countdown clock again. two days before the government can no longer borrow the cast we need to pay america's bills. at this hour, the framework of the deal is in place. president obama has agreed to massive spending cuts in return for republican leaders and congress agreeing to raise the debt ceiling for the next election. the framework is fragile. there's no final signofof our entire team iss tracking a fluid situation. for the latest we begin with jon karl. jon, you broke the story of this framework late last night. this morning we were all told the leaders were going to inform their rank and file members of the details this afternoon, but hour after hour has gone by. the briefings haven't taken place, there's no final deal. >> the reason why it hasn't happened is because they have a few minor issues to be worked out. i'm told they are relatively minor issues. once that happens, the hard work
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happens, which is they have to convince enough rank and file democrats and republicans to support the bill to get it passed. a rare sunday on capitol hill. senators rushing to work and even rarer these days, the leaders actutually smiling. they finally have come together. congressional leaders and the president on a debt plan. it looks like this. a debt ceiling increase of up to $2.4 trillion. that's enough to last through the presidential election. agreement on up to $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. a new congressional committee to recommend additional deficit reduction of up to $1.5 trillion. and automatic cuts. if congress doesn't act, including cuts to medicare and defense. the idea is to force congress to agree to a deficit reduction plan or face deep cuts in programs popular to both parties. it took the threat of economic catastrophe striking in just two
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days to get the two sideso finally come together to make a deal. >> the message you send to the world, not just our markets, but to the world that the united states of america is going to default on its debts is totally unacceptable scenario and beneath a great nation. >> amen. >> reporter: but the deal may be a tough sell to the rank and file democrats and republicans. >> one problem can stop the whole agreement from going forward. we must get something done as quickly as possible. >> reporter: many democrats won't like the deal doesn't include tax increases and could result in cuts to medicare. republicans don't like the possibility of deep defense cuts. in fact republican senator lindsey graham said on abc this week, he'll probably oppose the deal and predicted half the republicans could oppose it too. >> it's a $3 trillion package that will allow $7 trillion to be added to the debt in the next decade. >> that's a point that troubls s a lot of republicans in the
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house, not just the defense cuts, but they think the spending cuts overall don't go far enough. you may see 80 to 100 republicans in the house vote no. that means they need a lot of democrats to come along to support this to get it to pass. >> that's right, jon. let's take it to jake tapper. you heard jon say that right there. the president is going to have to sell a lot of democrats on a deal they don't like. >> there's a lot in this bill for everyone to hate, obviously some conservatives and tea partiers are going to vote against it and liberals voting against it as well. bernie sanders has come out with harsh language about it in the progressional debt caucus as well. >> one of the arguments is this is going to force the kind of grand bargain the president called for, a deal that includes spending cuts and tax revenue, increases from the super committee. what makes the white house think that house republicans are going to be any more open to revenues
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in december than they are today? >> with the threat of these triggers, these untenable threats to the pentagon and to other safety net programs, that is whathey feel will force congress to act only with a gun to its head will congress do something difficult like this. that's the theory anyway. also, of course, george, this bill would raise the debt ceiling beyond the november 2012 election. so that's a big win for the president just in getting that done and not having to revisit it in six to eight months. >> that was his most important goal. thanks very much. one of the other goals of getting the deal done by tuesday's deadline is to preserve america's aaa credit rating. losing it could cause interest rates to rise. even with the deal, there's a very real possibility that the aaa rating is still in jeopardy. bianna golodryga has that story in new york. >> a few months ago, for most americans, aaa was a company you
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called when your car broke down. it's become associated with political gridlock. we've never been at risk of losing our aaa status before. they expect that agency to downgrade u.s. debts before the end of the year. >> nothing represents america's status more than its aaa rating. it tells investors there's no safer place to put their money than in our treasury, meaning we can borrow at low interest rates. it's the engine of our economy, a reflection of our prosperity, a fiscal bajs of hon ir. losing that was unthinkable. a point the leaders made no attempt at sugar coating. >> if that happens, you're going to see catastrophic damage across the global economy. >> reporter: today, even with a deal to raise the debt limit, the unthinkable could very well become reality. of the three major rating
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agencies, s&p has been the most menacing, warning of a 50% chance of a downgrade to aa status within the next three months if washington doesn't come up with a significant plan to reduce the deficit by roughly $4 trillion over the next decade. most people believe that a deal of that size is all but impossible at this stage of the game. what would a aa nation look like? >> it will make us worse off. it's unambiguous in my mind that we have constructed both a global system and a national system based on the u.s. being a aaa. if the u.s. loses the aaa status, it will be much more difficult for the u.s. to restore growth. >> reporter: why? first, interest rates will likely rise, making it more expensive for everyone. the u.s. government, private businesses and you to take loans. the value of the u.s. dollar could drop, making it more expensive to buy any imported goods. all of these scenarios combined
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could trigger another recession. while a downgrade would no doubt be a painful blow, there are those who argue that it would not be earth shattering. so far financial markets haven't panicked the way many predicted. interest rates remain flat even after the stern warning of a downgrade. even with all the turmoil, u.s. treasuries remain the most sought after investment in the world. >> the rest of the world is watching. this will do very little to reduce the concern that the rest of the world has about the role of the u.s. in the global economy. >> george, perhaps the biggest irony here is that the promise of larcher deficit cuts earlier in this process raised the bar among the rating agencies who are trying to regain the reputation after the huge miss from the mortgage debacle. >> that wraps up our debt crisis coverage right now. you can follow the details on as you know, david muir is on assignment in africa, the only american reporter in
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mogadishu. today a gun battle erupted there as soldiers tried torotect the food desperately needed by so many. david reports from t t front lines. >> reporter: good evening. not only is somalia dealing with its worst famine in a generation, it's dealing with decades of political conflict and lawlessness here. out of the convoy meant to protect the aid routes, the food slowly beginning to arrive, we witnessed a dramatic fire fight. we flew into mogadishu this morning, a darkened sky greeting us on the tarmac. inside the airport was chaos. crumbling tiles in the ceiling, capital overrun by conflict. the u.n. says they face the worst food emergency in the worlds. they are facing a political vacuum, weak government and in the south, the al qaeda linked group al shabaab is in control. we joined a convoy of union
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soldiers trying to keep the route 0s for food and medicine safe, trying to hold al shabaab back as it moves into mogadishu. >> they are now trying to make it impossible for the humanitarian aid. >> they are trying to block the aid. >> yeah. >> in recent days, the battle has turned deadly. >> you pushed them back. >> yes. >> while they say they made progre progress, today another dramatic fire fight. you can hear the gunfire break out. they asked us not to turn the cornerer they are exchanging fire with al shabaab as they try to move the extremists to the outskirts of the city. >> as we pulled away, our convoy hit with gunfire too. no one was hurt. we took a direct hit on this convoy. you are convinced that was al shabaab. a short distance away, a reminder of the stakes, the had you beenry children living in the overflowing refugee camps.
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what's your name? >> is mail. >> david. >> this is one of the camps here. >> reporter: they take us inside the camp. tell us we must still wear armor. we met a mother who walked here with her children. they walked for 15 days. >> yes. >> reporter: this boy tells me he does not miss home. he was hungry there he said we ran away from hunger. >> they've been here three days now waiting for food and waiting for that gunfire to stop in the hills. waiting for that food. while we were at the airport, the world food program delivered 14 tons of those nutritional supplements, the mini meals for children. as we discover today, making sure those meals get to the right people is proving to be an enormous and dangerous challenge here as well. george? >> david muir in somalia. david will have more tomorrow night on "world news" with diane sawyer. he's going to be reporting from
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the refugee camps and the hospitals. let's turn to sharyn alfonsi in new york with the rest of the day's news. >> still ahead on "world news" this sunday, a new clue in the only sky jacking the fbi never solved. could it reveal what happened to d.b. cooper when he jumped out of the plane. >> the highway menace, sitting in the passenger seat. this man was arrested because of who he let drive his car. man: between making the "rent and somebody constantly ownloading musicals ontitun. woman: i love musicals. man: was getting tight around here. so to save money, i got us a roommate... man: ...who just happens to be into musicals. roommate: i am the very model of a modern major-general, i've information vegetable, animal, and mineral, i know the kings of england... anncr: there's an easier way to save. anncr: get online. go to get a quote. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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the taunting question, who am ? 40 years after the plane hijacked by the man known to criminal history as d.b. crystal because he parachuted out the tail with $200,000 money, news that the fbi has a new lead. a spokesman is quoted as saying "our most promising lead." they are said to be looking at a piece of property looking at a new suspectct which is all theye saying about a case because the bad guy never found has entered the anals of criminal legend. jeffrey gray's book "sky jack" comes out in a few weeks. >> somebody who was daring and was able to change the way people think about something. he developed a cult following that continues to this day. >> reporter: indeed, cooper, the name on the ticket he used atlanta day in 1971 has been a character for dozens of songs
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and tv shows and one film in pursuit of d.b. cooper, the story of a man in a suit who shows up with what looks like a bomb, lets passengers go, jumps, never to be seen again. there's always been the suggestion that maybe, having leapt into the dark somewhere over rural washington state, the so called d.b. cooper died in his you jump. either way investigators have been plagued by the cooper curse, promising leads including 1,000 different possible suspects and the 1980 discovery of some of the ransom money in a bag, leading to a dead end. >> there are problems with the integrity of the forensic evidence or there has been in the past. >> reporter: if thisis latest ld is most promising, who knows? maybe the ghost will blink at last. john donvan, abc news, washington. when we come back, the 500
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mile drive that ended with arrest of this man. wait until you hear who he let drive his car. and today, we're re-inventing aspirin for pain relief. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of your tough pain. ♪ in fact, it's clinically proven to relieve pain twice as fast. new bayer advanced aspirin. extra strength pain relief, twice as fast. with vitamins and minerals balanced to support your energy... ♪ ...and healthy skin. everyday benefits from m vanced formulas. discover the complete benefits of centrum. with diabetes, it's tough to keep life balanced. i don't always have time to eat like i should. the less time i have to take care of me.
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the dreaded heat dome is coming back. this week the center of the country is in for the hottest temperatures yet in an already scorching summer. hotter than normal temperatures are on the way to the deep south and midwest and mid atlantic states. out of louisiana tonight, a story that made us all sit up and take notice. drivers on highway i-12 noticed a pickup truck driving eratically. they called police. they saw an 8-year-old boy behind the wheel. in the passenger seat, drunk and asleep, the boy's father, billy joe madden. he's charged with child des ergs and driving without seat belts. police don't know how long the boy had been driving, but they were driving from hattiesburg, mississippi, to dallas, texas in the back seat was the boy's 4-year-old sister. they were both okay. when we come back, we go to the beach and reveal the azing
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than any waves. >> reporter: it's a ritual of summer along the shore. >> bend your knees. >> reporter: kids learning to surf. >> reporter: but for these teenagers, it takes a special kind of bravery. they are blind. juliana, a seventh grader, cannot even distinguish between light and dark. instructors begin by letting her feel the surfboard. what it's like to stand on it. >> arms off to the side. >> reporter: soon juliana's heading into the surf, guided by an instructor. before long she's riding her board. her mother, beaming. now and old-hand, juliana urges her friend danielle to give it a try. >> at first you are going to feel a little nervous. then when you feel the water, you'll feel excited. >> reporter: danielle's eagerness s ves way to an understandable case of nerves. after a pep-talk, she too is hanging ten. >> at first i was really scared, but it was awesome. but what did it feel like? i don't know! i was just riding the wave!
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>> reporter: a group on long island called surf for all organizes these days. it's about more than teaching these kids to surf. >> it's got to lift them up to think how much more they can accomplish. >> reporter: any fears these kids had, washes away, you can see the self-confidence building like a wave. >> i feel like rocky. >> reporter: for their parents, it's empowering too. >> if somebody would have told me 12 years ago that she was ever going to surf, i would have said, you're crazy.. this shows her that her blindness doesn't have to hold her back from anything. >> reporter: it's clear that catching a wave, will make a life-long difference. >> thank you! >> well done. that is "world news" for sunday. george stephanopoulos will be back in washington on "gma" tomorrow, diane tomorrow night. for george, david muir and all of us at abc, good night.
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